Greenville Lions: 2013 football preview
After consecutive 0-10 seasons, Greenville High School brought back local legend Marvin Sedberry to guide the football program back to winning ways. Last season was another winless one, but this could be the year that the Lions break their consecutive loss streak.
Sedberry has previous experience with guiding the Lions back from the brink, as he has held the head coach/athletic director position twice before, once in 1992-2000 and again in 2002-2003.
When he first became coach of the Lions in ’92, Greenville had suffered through 10 straight losing seasons, and it took him four years to turn things around. In 1995 Sedberry guided the Lions to a 7-4 District 13-4A championship, and then nine straight playoff appearances that included five district titles, five bi-district titles, one area championship, two regional titles and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.
When Sedberry left Greenville, the Lions went through a lot of turnover. Jimmie Brooks, Jeff Cordell, Jim Phillips and Chawn Cooper all took their turn as head coach over just nine years, going a combined 18-62 record in their tenures. The Lions have now lost their last 30 games and have one winning season in the past ten years.
“That’s tough on everybody when that happens,” Sedberry told the Greenville Herald-Banner. “I think the thing we’re just trying to do is we’re trying to create a competitive atmosphere. We’ll take it one step at a time.”
Sedberry should have a shorter turnaround in his third stint coaching the Lions, as the current talent pool has a few players that could compete for all-district honors. Defensive end John Franklin is a strong and physical player that has the chops to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, and defensive lineman Shaquille Anderson (6-0, 275) is one of their best younger players, with the size and speed to really stuff the run.
On offense, Sedberry can count on running back Chance Hamilton, a bruiser that can block and punish people with his size (6-1, 210) and strength. Spencer Gilbert II is moving up to varsity as a sophomore, and is projected to be a real impact player.
The Lions can only go up from here, and they have several opportunities to break their winless streak in non-district play. Princeton is a good team, but they’re a 3A school that Greenville almost beat last season. The Colony only won 4 games last season, and Frisco Heritage won only 1 game in 2012.
District play is considerably tougher though, as the Lions face challenges at Lucas Lovejoy (11-1 area finalist, 7-0 in District 13-4A), against Wylie (5-7 area finalist, 4-3 in District 13-4A) and versus Wylie East (9-4 regional semi-finalist, 5-2 in District 13-4A) in consecutive games. Another test comes in the final week of the season at Sherman (9-3 area finalist, 6-1 in District 13-4A).
Sedberry knows there’s a difficult road ahead for his Lions, but he says he’s up for the challenge.
“I do know this, this will be my last coaching job,” Sedberry said. “When I do retire I’ll retire as a Greenville Lion.”
Head Coach: Marvin Sedberry 2012 Results: 0-10, 0-7 in District 13-4A Top Players: DE John Franklin, Sr., 6-4, 230. OL Dillon Stevens, Sr., 6-3, 255. RB Chance Hamilton, Sr., 6-1, 210. WR Derren Wilson, Sr., 6-2, 170. DB Datriston Fite, Sr., 5-7, 150. DT Shaquille Anderson, Jr., 6-0, 275. QB Spencer Gilbert II, Soph., 5-11, 150.